Gandhi Indian, Fareham | Takeaway review
The Dish Detective has a soft spot for people who keep newspaper clippings. Always has, always will.
The DD – while being a thoroughly modern, digital and trendy person – loves newspapers. And so our heart leapt on walking into the Gandhi in Fareham to collect a takeaway, for on every wall it seemed was a framed story from The Newsabout owner Abu-Suyeb Tanzam’s fundraising.
Abu is a good egg. Full disclosure: the Dish Detective has spoken to him a couple of times on the phone, but is fairly sure Mr Tanzam would not remember who the DD is. This review is not a favour for a mate or a contact, nor did we announce ourselves. We know of Mr Tanzam mainly through reading about him in the paper, and the thousands of pounds he has donated from annual charity nights when all the takeaway’s proceeds go to good causes. So, is the food as good as the community spirit?
We’ve visited a couple of times now. The first, in January, saw a queue of people on a cold Saturday lockdown night patiently and politely waiting for orders to come out of what was clearly a busy kitchen. Covid measures-wise, the takeaway is fine – there’s a hand sanitiser on the door, all patrons the Dish Detective saw were wearing face coverings and everyone was being sensible about having too many people waiting indoors.
The DD returned more recently. Again, we noticed that so many of the customers knew the staff well. Obviously, it’s not a town centre place and so is going to have regulars, but even so the DD was impressed. You don’t get a lot of repeat custom if you’re not doing something right.
This time around the DD and their dining partner pushed the boat out – too far as it turned out, although nothing went to waste.
As well as a main dish each we ordered onion bhajis, vegetable samosas, poppadoms and some saag paneer – an amount of food which could have fed four people. The bhajis (£2.25 for two) were superb – the size of tennis balls, and with a wonderful, indulgent amount of grease, although not too much. If there’s one thing you are never going to recreate in your own kitchen, without a lot of patience and a decent kit, it’s these. The DD would even say that if you were passing, it would be worth stopping by just for the bhajis.
The samosas (£2.50 for two) were also good, and also made a picnic lunch the following day. Rather than the triangular, flaky pastry we’re accustomed to from the supermarket, these had a far more solid feel – and were crimped on one side like a pasty.
For a main dish I chose a chicken tikka Gujeratie – a dish which comes with a healthy number of green chillies in, as well as pilau rice and vegetables for £10.20. Even with the chillies, it’s not a brain-blowingly hot taste – there's a nice firm spice taste underpinning the sauce, with some good cumin and turmeric notes there.
On the first visit I’d opted for a chicken tikka Darjeeling, another dish which although advertised as ‘fairly hot’ on the menu, certainly does not leave you desperate for cold water or milk (that’s a compliment). The Darjeeling had an astonishing taste, really aromatic, with large chunks of what the DD thinks is cassia bark in, which has a wonderful cinnamon-like taste. Both to be recommended.
The DD's companion was less impressed by a rogan lamb tikka (£6.30). The flavour was fine – that lovely dark blend of nutmeg, fennel, cardamom as well as the soft tomato taste, but the meat itself could have done with being cooked longer – a touch on the tough and chewy side. However, that's a small gripe; overall this was a very fine meal and coming in south of £30 was, for the amount of food, almost worthy of being called a bargain.
And so comes a bit of relief. Not only is the owner a bit of a philanthropist, his establishment turns out some very good food too. A very pleasing state of affairs.
Gandhi, Anjou Crescent, Fareham
Tel: 01329 842183